Something I posted on Facebook:
If you want to reach the hearts and minds of people on the other side (of matters political, religious, geographical, legal, military, …) you have to start with the understanding that they are people just like yourself, and just as deserving of calm consideration and respect. This doesn’t mean you can’t defend yourself if they are trying to kill you. It does mean that, if once they have put their weapons down, you have to be willing to meet them with an open heart and mind yourself. This is what I’d like to see more of in the world. Stop the killers, but don’t demonise them. Stop the haters. Stop them.
I wish I could flesh this out, put in the words behind the words. Sometimes you do have to kill another person, because it is you or them. This is a fact. Trying to pretend it isn’t so doesn’t help anyone. You have to be on your own side, and want to win. But more often than not, what you need to do is to let other people have their own point of view. Most often they are not actually coming to kill you, and the only barrier to peace is the unwillingness to let them have a different perspective. You don’t have to agree with them. You do have to allow that your point of view isn’t the only one, that most people have reasons for the way that they are, that there is more than one way to be wrong.
I woke up with this in my head, and it seemed important enough to beat up my left hand to type this, but I guess I am done.
Do not love your neighbour as yourself, respect him/her. Love without respect is abuse. Respect without love is survivable for us all.